John Varvatos

Milan: Designer John Varvatos has made a career out of offering clothes that allow men to live out their inner rocker fantasies. After a couple seasons of dark tailoring and heavy layers, the designer takes his Jimmy Page-inspired man to the countryside (in a setting complete with iron gates and a brick runway sprinkled with weeds) for a bit of inner reflection. In his show notes, Varvatos pointed to the early 70s when rock groups like the Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and The Who “fled to the country for inspiration and a break from the big city.” The designer went on to say the S/S 12 collection was inspired by that “sense of freedom and a nod to perfect imperfection” that those bucolic rock sojourns exemplified. The loose, laid-back attitude worked for the soft-shouldered blazers, cotton safari jackets and slouchy knits. A master of layering, Varvatos once again proved that elongated woven shirts can still look sophisticated under a peak-lapel vest and cotton tuxedo jacket. Near the end of the show, hand-painted roses along the side of a suit brought the collection full circle — a reminder that rebellious style need not be showy nor harsh.  —Michael Fisher

Color: Grey / Sand / Black / Bone

Key Items: Band leader jackets / Plaid cotton pea coat / Unconstructed blazers / Tunic shirt / Crisp chinos / Three-piece suit / Slouchy knits

Materials: Seersucker / Cotton poplin / Leather / Linen / Silk

Details + Trim: Cold-washing and unfinished surface treatments / Hand-painted rose motifs on suits / Epaulettes / Peak lapels

Accessories + Footwear: Cold-washed American flag scarves / Woven leather carryalls / Braided leather cord necklaces / Burnished boots

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